A highly adjustable camera, easy-to-use controls, great video and audio quality, good range, all-night battery life, and a decent price make the SpaceView the best local-video baby monitor you can buy.
The SpaceView Pro uses the same camera and has all the same features as the regular SpaceView. But the Pro’s monitor has a bigger battery, which lasts for hours longer. The monitor is bulkier and harder to fit in a pocket, though. Also, it costs $10 more than the regular SpaceView, and it doesn’t include the optional wide-angle camera lens.
The star feature of the Eufy SpaceView is its 720p camera, which can be panned from side to side and tilted up and down remotely using the monitor’s controls—so you don’t need to tiptoe into the baby’s room to make camera adjustments. The monitor’s screen is big enough to see comfortably and has easy-to-use controls for adjusting temperature and sound alerts. And it recharges using a standard micro-USB plug. The Eufy SpaceView Pro has all the same features as the Eufy SpaceView, but it adds a bigger, longer-lasting battery (which makes the unit bulkier). Overall, we prefer baby monitors that rely on a local video feed—like the ones from Eufy and Infant Optics—rather than Wi-Fi because they’re far more dependable and have fewer security concerns. But you can’t check this type of monitor when you’re away from home. If you want to be able to look in on your little one while you’re out, you’ll need a Wi-Fi–enabled monitor like the Arlo Baby.
The DXR-8 Pro has great picture quality and range, as well as a battery you can replace if the one that came with the monitor starts to wear out. But the DXR-8 Pro’s battery life isn’t quite as good as the SpaceView’s, and its camera isn’t as adjustable.
The Infant Optics DXR-8 Pro, an upgraded version of the older DXR-8 (our former runner-up pick), includes a 720p camera with a sharper picture than the older model’s. And it has a monitor with a 5-inch screen, improved range, a louder speaker, and background-noise reduction that filters out sounds from fans and humidifiers. The DXR-8 Pro also has a battery that anyone can replace. Most rechargeable batteries lose a noticeable amount of their capacity after a year or two, so the DXR-8 Pro might be worth the extra money if you plan to use your monitor for multiple years or pass it down.
Budget video monitors come with a lot of compromises, but the VM5254 has a decent 5-inch screen, good-enough battery life, a reliable signal, and a manually adjustable camera with a built-in night-light. But it won’t show you as much of your baby’s room as our other picks will.
You can find video baby monitors that cost less than $100, but there aren’t many good ones. Although it does cut some corners, the local-video VTech VM5254 has a 5-inch screen, reasonable battery life, and a reliable signal at half the price of the Eufy SpaceView. Its camera even has a handy built-in night-light—with seven color options—that automatically adjusts its brightness sensor. However, though the VM5254’s video quality is good for the price, its camera doesn’t pan or tilt like that of the SpaceView or the DXR-8 Pro. And the VM5254 has a considerably smaller field-of-view than our other picks—you won’t be able to see as much of your baby’s room, and you’ll be more limited in where you can place the device. The monitor is also chunkier and cheaper-feeling than our more expensive picks.
Most people want to use a baby monitor at home overnight, with audio on in the background, and check in on the video signal only occasionally. Local-video monitors like our top picks make that task simple, and they are more reliable than an internet-connected monitor. But if you want to access the monitor while you’re away from home, the well-liked Arlo Baby is the best Wi-Fi–equipped option because of its great video quality and a well-maintained app. The Arlo streams sharp video to the Arlo app on your smartphone (you can save clips, too). It can also play audio in the background with the phone screen off; this sets the Arlo apart from regular Wi-Fi security cameras, which usually don’t offer this feature. But because the Arlo (like all Wi-Fi monitors) relies on your phone and an internet connection, you can run into routine issues like maintaining a connection and staying logged in—mild annoyances that become frustrating when you’re trying to look in on your child. Additionally, glancing at your phone to check on the baby in the middle of the night often comes with a side of unrelated and unwelcome push notifications.
If you don’t need or want a video monitor, the VTech DM221 is a great audio-only baby monitor that costs half as much as our budget video-monitor pick (and less than a quarter as much as the SpaceView). The DM221 is a well-reviewed best seller in the category. And it has crisp sound and better talk-back functionality (which lets you talk to your kid or another parent in the room, instead of just listening) than the best video monitors we found. It also offers longer range and has better battery life than our video picks. This model easily beats out its audio-only competitors for various basic reasons, like being cordless, rechargeable, or less expensive.
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